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Visitors come out to help maintain Brazeau
BRAZEAU, Mo. -- Keeping a 12-year-old tradition, the village of Brazeau dressed up for the holidays and offered an afternoon and evening of old fashioned activities for the community to enjoy Saturday during the annual Old Fashioned Christmas Walk.
During the afternoon, the Brazeau Presbyterian Church hosted the choir from Frohna Concordia Lutheran Church which performed Christmas music, and Santa Claus was spotted talking with children in the village.
"It's a labor of love," said Linda Barber, a member of the Brazeau Historical Society. Members of the community clean, decorate and cook to prepare for the annual event. She said many of the people that help prepare the food are in their 80s.
Aunt Carrie's Tea House offered the food for a free will donation. There were several sandwich selections, served with chips and home-made pickles. Dessert plates were offered with a variety of home-made baked goods.
The village in southeastern Perry County has about 30 residents, with nine historical buildings, five dating to the late 1800s and four from the early 1900s.
The buildings in the village include the church, schoolhouse, blacksmith, post office and bank. The 150-year-old building that was the general store now houses the sampling room for the Hemman Winery.
This event and the Mississippi Scenic Drive are the two large fundraisers the village has every year. The proceeds from the walk are used to maintain the buildings and keep the town intact. Bonnie Hemman, with the historical society and Hemman Winery, said this year they saw people from Farmington, Mo., and Fredericktown, Mo., and some from Milstead, Ill.
As dusk fell, 250 luminaries were lit and the lights of the village came alive with a magical aura.
The live Nativity was presented by the Heartland Social Club from Uniontown, Mo. This year the Nativity featured lambs, cows, goats, a burro and a camel. Two angels sitting on top of hay bales watched over the proceedings.
"The animals," said Coleton Geiser, 5, of Jackson when asked what he liked best about the event. He said he liked being able to pet the camel and lambs.
Adults and children from Perry County Homeschoolers roamed in costume singing Christmas carols.
The community hall had a craft fair that featured home-made canned items, along with hand-made gift items.
The old bank featured a display of Christmas trees decorated in a variety of styles, courtesy of Katherine Lane, a member of the historical society.
The cost of the walk was $5 and included admission into all the old buildings and the Wine Country Inn Bed and Breakfast in Frohna, Mo.